More Peel, people?

John Peel in 1976.

As before, thanks to people who have helped me complete gaps, so I thought I would share some of these with you:

First up, many thanks to Steve for this, which was actually a UK Top 20 hit single the following year, but I couldn’t find. Cheers Steve!

Racing Cars – ‘They Shoot Horses Don’t They?’ mp3 (1976 Festive Fifty no.7)

Another beautiful, sad song…maybe there WAS some good music pre-punk after all *tongue in cheek*

Matching Mole -‘O Caroline.’ mp3 (1976 Festive Fifty no.46)

Meanwhile, those three elusive tracks from 1985:

One Thousand Violins -‘Like One Thousand Violins.’ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.49)

Three Johns -‘Death Of The European.’ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.14)

Woodentops -‘Move Me.’ mp3 (1985 Festive Fifty no.19)

And one from 1998:

Quickspace -‘If I Were A Carpenter (session).’ mp3 (1998 Festive Fifty no.39)

Obviously, there are other mp3s I have been sent, thank you, these will appear at some point soon. And I’m also planning on having another Shop Assistants fest next week. Watch this space…

Presenting…Chris Bradley

A few weeks ago, I wrote a review of Chris Bradley’s album, Voices. At the time I hadn’t posted any of his music, but gievn how good this album is, I think I should share this with you. He also emailed me to say how pleased he was with the review and that I could post some music AND hopefully do an interview with him . Read the review, then check out these mp3s and go and buy the album.

If you didn’t follow it up, then shame on you, frankly.

Chris Bradley -‘Hide & Seek.’ mp3

Chris Bradley -‘Down I Go.’ mp3

Go and make friends at his MySpace

Hope you’re having a good week.

Presenting…This Town Needs Guns

This Town Needs Guns hail from Oxford, in England, and many thanks to their record company, Big Scary Monsters Records for tipping me off about them. Their influences include Owls, Make Believe, Maps and Atlases, and Braid (no matter how much time I spend reading, writing about and listening to music, there is invariably still stuff out there that keeps me on my toes).

This track is an exclusive from their album, Animals which is out in October. I’ve now played this three times this morning already and it’s not even five past nine yet. I hear echoes of Biffy Clyro and Pavement, amongst other stuff, but what I really like is that I feel like I’m waiting for a sudden, predictable explosion, whihc doesn’t happen, and it’s all the better for that.

This Town Needs Guns -‘Baboon.’ mp3

Download it, let me know what you think and make friends with them at their MySpace.

Festive Fifty Wondrousness

Yup, folks, a wonderful 17 Seconds reader, David, has sent me all the tracks I was looking for yesterday. Great stuff, thank you, kind sir.

Orbital – ‘Style.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.15)

Sonic Subjunkies – ‘Do You Even Know Who You Are?’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.16)

Kraken – ‘Side Effects.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.26)

Plone – ‘Be Rude To your School.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.38)

Miss Mend – ‘Living City Plan.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.48)

Wheat – ‘Don’t Hold You.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no. 50)

Cowcube -‘Popping Song.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.30)

Lab 4 -‘Candyman.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.35)

Mighty Math -‘Soul Boy.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.39)

Meanwhile, I remember the film of The Beach being received somewhat disapppointingly in 2000, but the soundtrack featured two festive fifty entries that year, New Order’s ‘Brutal’ (and not as you might have expected the soundtrack to contain, ‘The Beach’) and Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti’s ‘Beached.’

New Order -‘Brutal.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.26)

Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti -‘Beached.’ mp3 (2000 Festive Fifty no.45)

Meanwhile (heh heh…) yet again, having difficulty tracking these tracks down, so if anyone can help that would be appreciated please:

From 1976:
Wild Man Fischer -‘Go To Rhino records.’ [Thanks Craig]
Matching Mole -‘O Caroline.’ [Now have it, thanks!]
Allman Brothers band -‘Jessica.’ [Now have it, thanks, Laurent]
Legendary Stardust Cowboy -‘Paralysed.’ [Thanks Craig!]
Racing Cars -‘They shoot Horses Don’t They?’ [Thanks Steve!]

and from 1985:
Three Johns -‘Death Of the European’ [Now have it, thanks]
Woodentops -‘Move Me’ [Now have it, thanks]
1,000 Violins -‘Like 1,000 Violins’ [Now have it, thanks Mike!]

Album Review: Biffy Clyro

Biffy Clyro -‘Singles 2001-2005’ (Beggars Banquet)

Last year, Biffy Clyro’s fourth studio album Puzzle took them into the big-time with a higher profile than they had ever had before. Yet this collection of singles from their time with Beggars Banquet gives an excellent insight into their earlier days.

To read their Beggars Banquet website is to be reminded of already how long Biffy Clyro have been around and how they have gradually grown while many of those that they toured with half a decade ago have long since fallen away (wherefore art thou now Llama Farmers, Haven, Hell Is for Heroes?) I first saw them live in January 2002 at Edinburgh’s La Belle Angele (a fantastic venue that burnt down later that year), supporting the late but fantastic Cooper Temple Clause. Biffy were great that night, though I had barely heard their music at the time, so I couldn’t tell you what they played. But they made an impression; of the twelve tracks on here, I bought seven of them as 7″ singles (as well as the three albums Blackened Sky, The Vertigo Of Bliss, and Infinity Land, all of which I bought on vinyl, natch).

How to describe Biffy Clyro’s sound? Like they admitted themselves, they’d loved Nirvana and Weezer, but the band, who grew up in Ayr and Kilmarnock before relocating to Glasgow were more than derivative. Listening to this compilation, I also hear hints of Husker Du and Shellac. Not forgetting their homeland, echoes of Scots contemporaries like Mogwai, Idlewild and Aereogramme (R.I.P) can be heard here. Biffy also made use of varying tempos and volume in their song, the scots indie idea of ‘quietquietquietVERYBLOODYLOUDQUIETISAIDQUIETquietthat’sbetter,’ often packing many ideas into one song that some artists cannot do in the space of an entire album.

If you haven’t heard songs like ’57’ ‘Justboy’ and ‘Questions and Answers’ then you really need to. Whilst there has been much sniping at their old record company from fans, see this as an introduction to this era. A ‘Greatest Hits’ this is not, ‘mon the Biffy!’ shout their fans, and indeed they continue to rise.


Singles 2001-2005 is out now on Beggars Banquet.

Biffy Clyro’s official website is here and their MySpace is here

Half Man Half Biscuit anyone?

Handed a CD-R by a very good friend the other day, which has much stuff I will share with you.

Amongst the stuff are three tracks from the 1999 John Peel session that Half Man Half Biscuit recorded for John Peel, and if anyone can furnish me with the fourth track ‘Gubba look a likes’, I would be eternally grateful.

Half Man Half Biscuit -‘Bottleneck At Capel Currig.’ mp3

Half Man Half Biscuit -‘Uffington Wassail.’ mp3

Half man Half Biscuit -’24 Hour Garage People.’ mp3 (This is the version that reached no.30 in the 1999 Festive Fifty. The following year, the song was recorded for the album Trouble Over Bridgewater (geddit?!)

meanwhile, here at the Half man Half Biscuit site page, there are various sessions recorded for Peel (one) and Andy Kershaw (two) this decade.

If anyone can help with an mp3 of Joy Division Oven Gloves from 2004 (the Peel session version) or even the entire session that would be great.

Oh, and while I’m at it, having difficulty getting my hands on the following tracks from the Peel Festive Fifties of 1999 and 2000. If these have become available on iTunes or emusic over the last two weeks I apologise but they weren;t there before I went away:

Orbital -‘Style’ (Which one? Different versions appear on the net)
Sonic Subjunkies -‘Do You Even Know Who You Are?
Kraken -‘Side Effects’
Plone -‘be Rude To your School.’
Miss Mead ‘Living City Plan’
Wheat -Don’t Hold You.’

Cowcube -‘Popping Song.’
Lab 4 -‘Candyman.’
Mighty Math -‘Soul Boy.’

It may be a Monday…but it’s warm and I’m on holiday

Oh yes, oh yay.

So, why the picture of the hawk at the top of the page?

Well, that is the cover art for the new album from Mogwai which will be out on the fourth week of september (I can’t wait!). This track, ‘The Sun Smells Too Loud’ is taken from the Matador web page. This is track is playing as I write. I know it may well have been doing the rounds of the blogs for the last few weeks, but I hadn’t heard it, so I guess there’s a chance that you may not have done either. It’s already on the best of 2008 playlist on my iPod, and I bet John Peel would have loved it had he been here. *Sigh* This song is actually quite summery -and I mean that as a compliment.

Mogwai -‘The Sun Smells Too Loud.’ mp3

Meanwhile, before I went away on holiday, I was emailed this rather fine remix of my favourite M.I.A. track. As long-term listeners should know, I think this woman is cool as, and I think this remix rocks too. (Just in case you care, the original is the second on my car tape, sandwiched between Sons & Daughters and Pavement.)

M.I.A. -‘Bucky Done Gun (Tenzin remix).’ mp3

Meanwhile, having posted the Arcade Fire version of this song yesterday, thanks to David for emailing me the Belle and Sebastian version. It’s cool too. My French isn’t sufficiently up to speed to be able to pick any holes in this. Just enjoy it for what it is…

Belle & Sebastian -‘Poupee De Cire.’ mp3

Finally, I know next to nothing about this track, but it’s a quality dance tune, with hints of Cut Copy, Silicone Soul and New Order -any ideas?

Ready Aim Fire -‘So Fine.’ mp3

Hope you’re having a good day, wherever you may be…

Arcade Fire covers bonanza!

Hello folks.

Mrs. 17 Seconds and I are now back from our holidays, so we are now back at 17. Seconds towers (many thanks to the legendary scots indie bassist who flatsat for us while we were away). Thanks also due to friend who lent me his laptop when on holiday so I could still post.

One of the emails that I received whilst I was away was asking if I could repost some of the Arcade Fire covers I had posted in the past.

…well, why not? And a few I don’t think I have posted before.

Arcade Fire -‘Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place) (Talking Heads cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Five Years (David Bowie cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Maps (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Guns Of Brixton (The Clash cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘I’m So Bored With The USA (The Clash cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Age Of Consent (New Order cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Kiss Off (Violent Femmes cover).’ mp

Arcade Fire -‘Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son (France Gall cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘All The Umbrellas In London (Magnetic Fields cover).’ mp3

Arcade Fire -‘Wave Of Mutilation (Pixies cover).’ mp3 (This is very short yet seems to sum up the essence of the song very well, IMHO).


Some more covers for Friday

Just as it says on that there tin, folks… have posted many of these before, but what the heck.

Back from holidays soon, so expect more new stuff here.

Tom McShane -‘That’s All There Is (Nina Simone cover).’ mp3

Comrade Down -‘American Trilogy (Delgados cover).’ mp3

Cat Power -‘Wonderwall (Oasis cover; John Peel session.’ mp3

Cat Power -‘We Dance (Pavement cover).’ mp3

Jesus and Mary Chain -‘Vegetable Man (Syd Barrett cover).’ mp3

Teenage Fanclub -‘Nothing To Be Done (Pastels cover).’ mp3

Sia -‘I Go To Sleep (The Kinks cover).’ mp3

Schneider TM -‘The Light 3000 (Smiths cover -originally There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.’ mp3

Propaganda -‘Sorry For Laughing (Josef K cover).’ mp3

Grace Jones -‘La Vie En Rose (Edith Piaf cover).’ mp3

Motorcycle Boy -re-post!

Earlier today, I received feedback from a reader saying that a link from when I had posted Motorcycle Boy back in April was no longer active; it isn’t but given that this fine song is no longer available, so why not repost?

Motorcycle Boy -‘Big Rock Candy Mountain (12″ mix).’ mp3

…and seeing as I didn’t post them here originally, why not the tracks from the 7″ single?

Motorcycle Boy -‘Big Rock Candy Mountain (7″).’ mp3

Motorcycle Boy -‘Room At The Top.’ mp3

Motorcycle Boy were the boy founded when Meat Whiplash united with Alex Taylor of the Shop Assistants. Meat Whiplash recorded one Peel session; the Shop Assistants recorded two and had four festive fifty entries in 1985-6; Motorcycle Boy recorded one session and reached no.22 in the 1987Festive Fifty with ‘Big Rock Candy Mountain.’

When I posted the track back a few months ago, I did receive a lot of emails etc.. asking what else I had by Motorcycle Boy; this is all I have. So if anyone can email me mp3s I will happily post them here! And if you love Motorcycle Boy and the Shop Assistants you should be checking indie mp3, a totally excellent blog! See also Tom’s pages on the Shop Assistants.